Rabbit's foot fern, also known as hare's foot fern, is a genus of tropical ferns that grow from rhizomes which sit on the surface of the soil. They are commonly grown as houseplants due to their ornamental fronds, or foliage, and their ease of growth. Rabbit's foot fern is native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world and can easily be grown indoors or outdoors with the proper care and maintenance.
Plant rabbit's foot fern during spring after all danger of frost has passed. Choose a location with bright, indirect sunlight throughout the day and fertile, well-drained soil. Spread 1 inch of coarse sand over the site prior to planting and use a garden tiller to incorporate it into the soil to further increase drainage.
Keep the rabbit's foot fern at a daytime temperature of between 65 and 72 degrees F at all times. Ensure overnight temperatures are between 55 and 60 degrees F. In colder zones, grow the fern indoors in a large planter to better regulate the temperature.
Water rabbit's foot fern just after the soil has been allowed to dry out, about once every 10 days. Apply enough water to soak the soil to a depth of 4 inches. Use rain water or distilled tap water to avoid salt build-up, which can cause nutritional problems.
Feed rabbit's foot fern once every five weeks during spring, summer and fall using a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer. Do not fertilize during winter, when the plant is in a dormant state. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for proper use.
Place a humidifier near indoor rabbit's foot fern plants to increase the relative humidity. The plant requires humidity between 40 and 50 percent, and any less can cause the fronds to whither and die. Increase the humidity of outdoor plants by misting with a spray bottle several times each day.
Things You Will Need
- Coarse sand
- Garden tiller
- Spray bottle
- Rabbit's foot ferns are planted by placing the rhizome on the surface of the soil. The roots will grow from the bottom of the rhizome into the soil. The rhizome should never be covered with soil, or the plant will die.
- Rabbit's foot fern plants are commonly grown in wire frame hanging baskets so the rhizome is clearly visible. The rhizome is furry and visually similar to a rabbit's paw, which is where the name originated.